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Bangladesh Army chief in Myanmar: Hopes of Resolving Rohingya Tangle

Published Dec 14, 2019
Updated Feb 05, 2020

Bangladesh Army chief General Aziz Ahmed is in Myanmar on a four-day official visit. He interacted with Vice-Senior General Soe Win, the deputy chief of Myanmar armed forces and its army chief during the visit.

They will also discuss repatriation of the forcefully displaced people of Myanmar from Bangladesh

The ISPR said discussions on building a road along the border would take place during the visit.

Gen Aziz is expected to visit a number of civil and military installations, including Myanmar National Defence College, Command and Staff College, and Defence Services Museum. He will return on Dec 11.

Bangladesh army chief General Aziz Ahmed’s visit to Myanmar for almost a week will attempt to reach out to the Myanmar Army and establish a strong cooperative paradigm that may include more high level visits and inter military exchanges.
“We enjoy our relations, but unfortunately Myanmar stopped sending their officials to our NDC [the National Defense College in Dhaka] in 2016. So, we want to deepen our relations through mutual cooperation”. General Aziz said, “Our aim is to bring both armies closer and to create scope so that we can discuss various issues of mutual benefit”.

Relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh suffered a blow when objections were raised by Dhaka for Myanmar’s membership of the Indian Ocean Rim Association

Will military diplomacy work to resolve the Rohingya tangle between Myanmar and Bangladesh remains to be seen with the Bangladesh Army chief General Aziz Ahmed on a four day visit to Nay Pyi Taw in which the issue of Rohingya repatriation is likely to figure prominently.

While the military in Myanmar holds the cards so to say in many of the decisions that are made having external security implications there are concerns that the Tatmadaw is unwilling to accept the return of the Rohingya fearing escalation in the violence by the ARSA group which had been the main cause for the backlash that was resorted to in 2016 and 2017 and the huge refugee bulge in Bangladesh.

On the other hand, there are issues related to border security that will also be discussed during the visit as the two sides attempt to build confidence in a situation that is fraught with tensions.